Hearing loss is currently a public health issue and scientists think that it will become a lot more common for people in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss over the last few years. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging problem it’s an increasing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare network views this as a significant public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is already dealing with hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Further Health Problems
Profound hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from family and friends. When you’re suffering from severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
People who have untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other serious health conditions
They also have trouble getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
people who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Insurance rates
- Healthcare costs
- Accident rates
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors show, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Ages?
The current increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
More people are dealing with these and related conditions at younger ages, which adds to further hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Moreover, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are using earbuds. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to an increased danger of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re working to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Get their hearing tested sooner in their lives
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being tackled. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate comprehensive strategies. They are integrating awareness, education, and health services to lower the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities.
Local leaders are being educated on the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to decrease resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. In addition, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the chance of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Share useful information with other people and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing examined if you think you are experiencing hearing loss. Be sure you get and use your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.